The developer of popular iOS apps SG Buses and SG NextBus was told this morning that his application to use the bus arrival times data from SBS Transit had been rejected. No reason was given for the rejection.
Muh Hon Cheng had sent in his application last Thursday, immediately after reading on this blog that SBS Transit was open to allowing external developers access to the data. (Note: Due to an outage on Blogger, this particular story has been lost.)
The data on bus arrival times had previously been easily accessible on the web but SBS Transit recently put up barriers to prevent automated scripts from grabbing the data. As a result, a number of iOS and Android apps have been affected.
Hon Cheng said that he has sent an email asking Comfort Delgro, the parent company of SBS Transit, to reconsider its decision. As for his plans regarding SG Buses and SG NextBus, both of which still work, Hon Cheng said: "I will continue to treat bus arrival data as free and public information, and improve the applications as long as they are not completely blocked."
SG Buses is a bus guide that incorporates bus arrival times and has over half a million users in Singapore. It was listed as one of the top 10 most downloaded apps of all time in Singapore. SG NextBus delivers bus arrival times and has a little under a quarter of a million users. Both apps are free.
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